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Upgrading next month

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October 25, 2011 5:11:07 PM

Hello, I'm looking to upgrade my system next month, and would like some advice. Budget range is going to be under $350. I would like to only replace my CPU and Graphics if at all possible, but I know I may need to replace the PSU as well.

Current setup:

Motherboard: Asus M4A78+
CPU: AMD Phenom X4 9850 BE
Heatsink: Zalman CNPS 9500A
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 1GB
RAM: 6GB generic DDR2 800 pulled out of a friend's old Dell desktop
PSU: Corsair 550VX
Case: Antec 300
Monitor: 1920x1080
Games I'm looking to play well: StarCraft 2 (already play pretty well), Skyrim, StarWars the Old Republic, BF3, DOTA 2, Civilizations V, and probably a bunch of future titles that have yet to be announced/released.

Now, I'm looking to upgrade both my CPU and graphics. Mostly this rig is used for gaming, but I'm also an engineering student and occasionally have to do some CAD for my assignments. For a CPU, I don't think a 6-core is really worth it for me, so I was looking at a Phenom II X4 955, but I was wondering if it's worth it to go for the 965/970? Are these merely just 955's at a higher clock rate? If that's the case I'll stick with the 955 and see if I can't squeeze more juice out of it. Also, will my current motherboard support a new Phenom II X4 or X6? Im thinking I'll need to do a BIOS update but I'm not entirely sure. If you guys have any other recommendations let me know.

As for graphics, I want the best bang for my buck. I was thinking of getting this XFX HD 6870 as I'm a fan of their products and I like a life time warranty! I also like Sapphire, HIS, or EVGA (for Nvidia) if you guys have any other recommendations.

So, basically all I'm asking is will all of this work fine in my current set up, most importantly will I need a PSU upgrade too? If not, post any changes you would make to give me more power for my dollar! Thanks in advance!

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October 25, 2011 5:18:50 PM

Yes, it seems your mobo will work with the 955 BE. The 6870 is a great choice for your budget also. That PSU appears to be a quality unit, I'd say don't upgrade if it's working fine.

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October 25, 2011 6:04:10 PM
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Yes you can upgrade to a Phenom 2 X4 965 or even Phenom II X6 1090T both are supported, before upgrading the CPU update the motherboard to the latest BIOS. Here is your Mobos CPU support link : http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM2Plus/M4A78_PLUS...
Your PSU is superb. You can upgrade the GPU to a Radeon HD 6950 or Radeon HD 6870 according to your budget.

HAPPY GAMING........... :hello: 
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October 25, 2011 7:05:49 PM

Excellent news, thanks guys!
October 25, 2011 7:05:56 PM

Best answer selected by FriendlyHobo.
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